Skip to content

Mapping 'Knoxville' Across Time, Media, and Cultures:

Tracing Unexplored Connections Between the Work of Cormac McCarthy, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and Buddy and the Huddle

Knoxville’s Shadowy Side Up-Close

Knoxville’s Shadowy Side Up-CloseSCHWARZENBACH: “The giant illuminated letters advertising the Andrew Jackson Hotel cast their shine into one of these streets so that I can read the street-sign: West Front Street. Above it, barely visible on the logs of the old house wall it reads ‘Tavern.’ Later, I was told that this building is the oldest hotel of old Knoxville, a Knoxville that once started to develop down here, on the ‘West Front’ of the river. Today, this is the quarter for its poorest inhabitants. Pale children play under the buttresses of the bridge, climb around in the bridge’s frame of steel, thrive in the shadows. Negro boys, skinny and shivering in their clothes that are too light, lean against the walls of shacks or creep through the brush on the riverbank, nonchalantly holding cigarettes in their slender hands. An Indian woman is breastfeeding her youngest boy whom she shows to me saying ‘He does not want to live,’ adding ‘I don’t know what is wrong with him.’”

McCARTHY, Suttree: “Past these gnarled ashcans at the alley’s mouth with their crusted rims and tiled gaping maws in and out of which soiled dogs go night and day.”

“Encampment of the damned. The viaduct spanned a jungly gut filled with rubble and wreckage and a few packing crate shacks inhabited by transient blacks and down through this puling waste the dark and leprous waters of First Creek threaded the sumac and poison ivy.”

exhibition fourteen
exhibition fifteen